New dis­cov­er­ies need a new story

Living Now - - Philosophy -

Clearly the mys­tery of our begin­ning, and the ex­tra­or­di­nary abil­i­ties that are key to our ex­is­tence, are part of a story that doesn’t fit the con­ven­tional think­ing of evo­lu­tion. For this rea­son we need a new story that ac­com­mo­dates the ev­i­dence. Or con­versely, we need to fol­low the ev­i­dence that we al­ready have to the new story that it tells. From fos­sils and grave sites to brain size and DNA, the ev­i­dence is al­ready an­swer­ing the deep­est ques­tions of our ex­is­tence. In do­ing so it’s also telling us a new hu­man story. The key is that we must think dif­fer­ently about our­selves to ac­cept what the story re­veals.

If we’re hon­est and ac­knowl­edge that what we know of the world and about our­selves is chang­ing, then it makes sense that our story must change as well. In all like­li­hood we’ll dis­cover that our new his­tory, and the story that fol­lows, is hy­brid of all sto­ries – the mar­riage of evo­lu­tion and di­rected mu­ta­tion – in a form of di­rected evo­lu­tion that is not ac­counted for in any of the ex­ist­ing the­o­ries alone.

The grow­ing body of ev­i­dence sup­port­ing pre­cisely such a story sug­gests that we are, in fact, the prod­uct of an ex­cep­tional process that re­flects an un­mis­tak­able in­ten­tion­al­ity. We owe it to our­selves to em­brace the ev­i­dence, and the story it tells. The rea­son that our new story is so im­por­tant is sim­ple: The bet­ter we know our­selves, the bet­ter we can thrive in the new world that’s emerg­ing. n

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